Simply put, hives are itchy welts on the skin. They can show up anywhere on the skin and vary a lot in size, from the size of pen tips to that of platters. Multiple hives can also connect on the skin to make bigger welts.
Usually hives disappear in about 24 hours and new ones might show up. This is how they can persist for some days. Nevertheless, one bout of hives does not carry on for more than 6 weeks. The medical community calls them acute hives. On the other hand, chronic hives are the ones that carry on after the 6 week mark.
The medical community refers to hives as urticarial. As these welts start appearing more deep under the skin, they are then called angioedema by the medical community. The same might happen with regards to hives and it leads to the eyelids and lips swelling up.
The most typical symptoms are:
Allergic hives appear when the smaller blood vessels leak blood plasma into the skin when they encounter histamine. Allergic reactions to things like food chemicals, insect bites, exposure to sun or to certain drugs cause the histamine release from the specialized cells situated near the skin’s blood vessels. Finding out the cause is often nearly impossible.
There is one other cause of hives, or simply one factor that might worsen the symptoms: stress. Research has linked low family support, sleeplessness and stress to hives. Scientists have tried to explain this phenomenon by saying that stress can lead to inefficient functionality of the body. According to them, the body might have an inflammatory reaction to the physiological changes caused by stress.
One factor that places individuals at risk includes their susceptibility to allergies. Those who are on medication are also at a higher risk for the progression of hives along with those who are exposed to chemicals that they are allergic to, without them even knowing it. These things might be included in food or pollen. If the person is already infected or has a medical issue, their susceptibility to develop hives is elevated as well.
Simple lifestyle changes can greatly reduce the risk of developing hives from occurring or reoccurring in the future. Proper relay of information of what the individual is allergic to is crucial from the person to the doctor. That way the doctor could provide the person with a list of what to avoid in order to prevent hives. Furthermore, allergy shots are another way that future occurrences of hives could be avoid
One should also avoid areas where there is more humidity or should not wear clothes that are too tight, especially if they have had a recent outbreak of hives.
The following are the two types of hives (or urticarial):